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Is there something fishy with the group buying of Trados? (Staff: 'No')
Thread poster: Hans-Henning Judek

Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
German to English
+ ...
Jun 6, 2003

Maybe someone can help me understand.

I just bought the TRADOS 6.0 through the last group buying event at $595. At the same time TRADOS was offering the product as direct introductory buy at $645. So $50 saved - I thought....

The reality looked a bit different. The bill showed the original price of $895, the discount of $300, which means $595 - so far correct.

Then $15 for packing and shipping is added, while Trados offers free shipping until June 27th.

The product was shipped from Ireland. As I have the software ordered for and shipped to my San Francisco office (not to Japan, in which case the product would have cost me already $670 anyway!!), there should have been no VAT on exports. A tax of 7.5% or $44.22 appeared on the bill and I asked Trados, what this was. They explained that they "have to charge sales taxes in California".

So far so good, but Trados US seems to be located in Virginia (they gave me ph. (703) 797 2619) and as far as I know, there is no local sales tax on inter-state deals. I have done probably a dozen inter-state transactions on e-bay and never paid any sales tax for California, only if the seller was located IN California.
So an international transaction (Ireland) with a company outside California (Virginia) and still charged taxes.

In total I paid $654.22, which is $9.22 above the price, TRADOS advertized at that time anyway with free shipping. That somehow does not make sense.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
English to Tamil
+ ...
Did you read the small print? Jun 6, 2003

Unless they are very stupid, such people always hedge their bets with fine small print placed in an obscure corner. Who knows, there may be a condition which says that you will have to profusely thank them for the trouble undergone by you, failing which you will not get any concession. I am exagerating of course.
Thank God I did not take up the offer from the Indian agent, whose price in Indian rupees was much more than the price as
mentioned by you above.
My advice: Write to the Trados people and raise cain. In future ask such people to send you a proforma invoice covering all conceivable charges before you part with your hard earned money. Last but not least approach such offers with suspicion.


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:52
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
price difference Jun 6, 2003

Indeed, the small print on their web order page reads that the client has to pay for shipping and additional local taxes and customs taxes.
I have bought through the same groupbuy and was surprised (to say the least) that when they processed my payment through my credit card, they told me they were not able to process my payment.The real trouble was to find out why they were not able to process the payment, since the person in charge of processing payments kept on sending me elliptic messages like: your credit card does not work, without other details. So I had to go to the bank several times and see if the credit card worked and it did, finally the bank told me they were trying to withdraw euro and the credit card was in USD, so that must have been the reason. I explained it to the person from Trados and he simply replied, sorry I cannot process in usd, because I am not allowed to.
But their offer page reads 595 USD/ euro indistinctively and witout any other specification. So I asked them what does this stand for.
Finally, someone else from Trados was able to realize that I had no way of knowing about their divided system of payment (which by the way they consider highly transparent)and offered me a solution, of which I am not too thrilled, but which I had to accept if I wanted the software. I had to transfer the money by bank transfer and pay the transfer charges because my credit card is in USD only, although I live in Europe.
For the past week I lost every morning by going to the bank to see about the credit card, the payment, etc.


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:52
English to German
+ ...
Thanks for the lesson Jun 6, 2003

Fortunately, when I was thinking about joining the party, they were already sold out. Now I know I never will.

Anyway, I would take this issue directly to Henry. What you describe is close to fraud.


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 05:52
French to English
Same price in EUR/USD? Jun 6, 2003

I also thought it strange that they were offering the same price in EUR/USD with the current exchange rate being at least 15% off (in favor of the dollar). So does that mean that you can choose the "cheapest" currency for your purchase?

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
English to Tamil
+ ...
Same price in Euros and USD Jun 6, 2003

Now that you are mentioning this, I remember seeing in the job postings the pricing as 0.06 Euros/USD per source word. It is really funny.


Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I also thought it strange that they were offering the same price in EUR/USD with the current exchange rate being at least 15% off (in favor of the dollar). So does that mean that you can choose the "cheapest" currency for your purchase?


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Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It depends on where you live Jun 6, 2003

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I also thought it strange that they were offering the same price in EUR/USD with the current exchange rate being at least 15% off (in favor of the dollar). So does that mean that you can choose the "cheapest" currency for your purchase?


It actually depends on where you live. If you live in the Euro Zone with a Euro-based credit card, you have to pay the Euro Price. So I am living in Japan, where the software would have cost me $670, but have an office in SF, so I thought to buy it through my Dollar-based credit card and have it sent to that office, but surprise, surprise, now it is almost as expensive as in Japan. Great deal! Still, the tax thing is fishy!


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:52
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
currency price and payment Jun 6, 2003

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I also thought it strange that they were offering the same price in EUR/USD with the current exchange rate being at least 15% off (in favor of the dollar). So does that mean that you can choose the "cheapest" currency for your purchase?


They always offered the same price in euro and usd, but up untill recently it was pretty much equal. They process payments according to geografic region , so in fact even if it seams that you can choose the currency for the payment, you cannot. I think they process payments in Europe in Euro and the rest of the world in USD. The problem is that you cannot find out this before you fill in your order.
I understand the process is right when it comes to EU countries but not all European countries are in the EU and I have not contraints whatsoever to pay in Euro or USD, as I prefer. However my credit cards are either in the national currency or in USD, so obviously I would have prefered the USD payment because I was able to pay via credit card. But you cannot choose your way every time, or so it seams. In any case, I was suprised that such an essential piece of information was nowhere available on their site or order page. After bringing that to their attention, it seams that they will include it on the site in the future to avoid such misunderstandings. They handled it quite nicely actually and admitted that they never foreseen the situation.
The process of the groupbuy was satisfactory as a whole, the only difficult part was with Trados payment sistem. Finally, I am truely happy that it is all over with and I hardly can wait for the software to come knocking at my door.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:52
SITE FOUNDER
You saved $53.75; the tax and shipping were standard TRADOS conditions Jun 6, 2003

TranslatorGroupBuying has the lowest price on TRADOS. You did not get taken advantage of.

The tax and shipping charges you mention were conditions applied by TRADOS to all purchases through May (they were not TranslatorGroupBuying conditions).

In the end, you paid $654.22. If you had not used TranslatorGroupBuying to order from TRADOS (you are, after all, ordering directly from TRADOS in either case), you would have paid $707.97. So you saved $53.75. ($50 plus 7.5% California sales tax.)

This fact can be confirmed with Mike Kidd at TRADOS.

--------------
Shipping fee
--------------

At the time you ordered, TRADOS was *not* offering free shipping. TRADOS added that bonus for this, the final month of their sales campaign (and TGB will therefore be able to offer it as well).

-----------
Sales tax
-----------

As for sales tax, TRADOS must charge sales tax in every US state in which they have offices. That means they must charge in California (where they have a small sales office) and Virginia.

In short, you could have saved a bit more by ordering from a place other than California, and (if you had known the future), by waiting until June for free shipping. But you still saved more than $300 against what the price will be after this month.

---------------

TranslatorGroupBuying is now owned and operated by ProZ.com. If anyone has any questions or problems related to TGB, please let us know!


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Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Make it more transparent, Henry Jun 7, 2003

With savings of $50, 7.5% or $44.20 IMHO are not a "bit", but to conclude this discussion, I would recommend that the TGB offering is lifted information-wise to the same level as the other parts of the PROZ website.

This means make prices and payments transparent and easier to understand to the PROZ members, if the software company itself has a smoke screen policy.

This can be a standard sentence to be reused with every TDG buying event, something like:

U.S.A.: Virginia and California residents are subject to local sales tax ...
Europe: ...

I bought TRADOS, grinding my teeth, because a customer asked me to. I never liked the company and its policy much and used other CATs. This experience was definitely not one to improve my impression.

[Edited at 2003-06-07 00:37]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:52
SITE FOUNDER
Notes added. Jun 11, 2003

I have reviewed the TGB text and found that although the taxes and duties were mentioned in a few places, it was not as clear as it could have been.

Therefore, I have added notes at various points throughout TGB and in our advertising here, so that it will be clearer that the ultimate price will include whatever taxes and duties would normally apply in a TRADOS purchase.

Thanks for raising this issue, Hans.


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Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the solution, Henry Jun 11, 2003

This is the reaction that fits to the usual ProZ-style. Thanks Henry.

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